‘Transformations’ was the name of a video that first brought Cali to ‘fame’ other than for it’s somewhat more salubrious history of drugs and violence. It trumpeted ‘the Cali Revival’ – and effectively put an end to what was NOT – then – revival – merely the foundations for a revival that God wanted to bring to redeem this amazing city. Back in the late ’90’s, it told of massive drops in the crime rate, and all sorts of other true, but grossly overstated things, that knocked what was beginning on the head.
The tragedy with calling any move of God a ‘revival’ is well-known historically. As soon as man gets his teeth into it, certainly in the present generations, it seems to all peter out.Look at Florida just a few years ago – Lakeland and Brownsville in the last few years.
What WAS beginning here in the late 90’s was a working together of over 300 pastors, who met ‘as one’, made decisions ‘as one’, and deferred to each other with no one wanting to be the ‘leader’. Some pastors, because of the video, became well-known, and began, for the first time in countless generations, to be invited from Colombia to the ‘great western-world’ Christianity, and ended up splitting the pastors group asunder as $$ poured into a FEW churches….
Some years later, the move of God began again, but it was the ‘small church’ pastors who started to see God doing great things. I’m not denigrating the big churches, but what was happening here before the video came out has never occurred again. It’s those smaller churches, and the tough and difficult areas, that I especially love going to, places where it is almost a ‘draw-dropping shock’ to congregations to see a foreigner walk in to their church. I’ve had people want me to go to 40,000+ churches in other parts of the country (I guess the offerings might be nice!) but I’ve always wanted to go the ignored, dangerous-situation churches, and stay ‘under the radar’.
Yesterday, Alan & Barbara went to a cell group meeting of my favourite church in the city: just a handful of people of there, but the kindness, hospitality, and generosity of spirit of the people made it a wonderful evening. They went for 8pm, were home after midnight, having shared, and prayed for everyone, then been blessed with toasted ham and cheese sandwiches! (I wonder if anyone feeds the ‘big’ tv platform preacher with sandwiches? I doubt it – nor would I swap it!). It was a time of blessing for the church folk, and for Alan & Barbara.
Yesterday lunchtime, we were invited to lunch with another church leader – it’s lovely to have these lunch invitations, and something that’s becoming a bit more ‘common’ – but then the pastor told us he had another urgent appointment, so left us with Pastor Wilmar
and his lovely daughters, to consume positively mountains of food…. We managed, of course, being polite Christian Brits!
Tonight, I’m in a church goodness only knows where, and the same tomorrow morning: in truth, I’d much rather ‘bow out’ having seen God do some amazing stuff in the last few days. and, when I went out to where the miracles happened the other night, I’d said to Alan, ‘I’ve never felt less like going out to preach in my life’…. so God makes it worthwhile.
I feel a bit like that tonight, especially as it’s ‘odd’ seeing as Alan and Barbara, who’ve had a great time here, and it’s been wonderfully being here with JUST them, leave at 4am tomorrow morning to make their way home. I don’t leave until Monday, that’s the way our different bookings worked out, so it’s strange to think of them gone.
I’m sure tonight will be great, and tomorrow morning, too. All I know about tonight is that the church is led by my friend Francisco’s own Pastor and mentor, Pastor Fanny, and she’s a mere 85 years old…. I’m a young pup in comparison!!
I’ll let you know how it goes….